Blood in the urine (haematuria) is one of the first indicators of bladder cancer. When you have haematuria and make an appointment with your GP, he will forward you to an urologist. The Urologist will perform a uranalysis, to investigate inter alia if cancerous cells are present in your urine. Furthermore, he will perform a cystoscopy, during which your bladder will be investigated with a normal, white light camera.
If the urologists sees something suspicious during this cystoscopy, he will reschedule you for a bigger surgery, a trans-urethral resection of bladder tissue (TURBt). This surgery will be under full anaesthesia, and the suspicious tissue will be fully removed. However, this TURBt procedure does have some big disadvantages. First, in 30% of the cases the removed tissue is benign, e.g. scar tissue or an infection. In these cases the surgery was not necessary. Second, the tumor is not always fully removed, as it is very difficult to check all the edges of the tumor. A significant amount of the recurrences in bladder cancer are no recurrences, but incomplete removed previous tumors. Finally, the urologist cannot see in real-time if the tumor is muscle invasive or not, which has a large impact on the treatment.
With Scinvivos imaging catheter these disadvantages will be solved. During initial cystoscopy, the urologist can more accurately diagnose if the suspicious tissue is cancer or benign. Also, if it is a tumor the urologist can determine real-time if the tumor is muscle invasive or not. Finally, the catheter can be used during TURBt to check the edges and make sure the full tumor is removed.
This means that the amount of invasive TURBts can be drastically reduced when the Scinvivo catheter is used.